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Dr Nick Dalton

Associate Professor

Department: Computer and Information Sciences

While I am new to Northumbria, I have taught computing at UCL (University College London) and at The Open University.  I have taught at all levels from beginners on foundation, to degree courses, to Masters courses and at PhD level.  I also delight in supporting students with a range of disabilities including Dyslexia, Autism spectrum, and Deafness. I have written about Neurodiversity.  I love communicating my joy of all things Digital to students and to the wider public – see my articles on the conversation.

I started programming my first Mac in 1987 and never looked back.  I was drawn to Human Computer interaction  as  a programmer as it’s the most difficult and challenging of all types of software in all of computer science.  

My research exists in the crossover between architecture and human computer interaction. This includes areas such as Space Syntax in theoretical architecture.  My current research area is that of very large-scale user interfaces.  This is any user interface which is larger than a person.  For example this includes public displays, a digital wine shop, information sculptures, Virtual Reality, table sized multitouch group interaction.  I am a founding member of NORSC (Northumbria social computing).  

My current research looks at the use of body movements at standing desks to encourage better user interaction and fight a obesogenic environments in the workplace.

My PhD supervision currently includes looking at reconceptualising device user interfaces for people with diabetes.  I’m always open to suggestions for Phd topics in my research area of large scale user interface

In my spare time I write iPhone and AppleWatch apps and publish Science Fiction on Wattpad. 

The Conversation

Ubiquity Notebook

The Pure Hands

Nick Dalton is a passionate educator and researcher who joined Northumbria University in 2016. Prior to this, he made significant contributions to the field of computing, having taught at prestigious institutions like UCL (University College London) and The Open University. Throughout his career, Nick has engaged with students at all levels, from beginners on foundation courses to those pursuing degrees, Masters, and even PhD studies. One of his greatest strengths lies in his dedication to supporting students with neurodivergent abilities, including Dyslexia, Autism spectrum, and Deafness. He is known for his advocacy of Neurodiversity and has written extensively on the topic.

Nick's journey into the world of computing began in 1987 when he started programming his first Mac, and since then, he has been captivated by Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Embracing the challenges it offers, Nick firmly believes that HCI is the most difficult and stimulating aspect of software in the entire field of computer science.

His research interests lie in the intersection of architecture and human-computer interaction, particularly in areas such as Space Syntax in theoretical architecture. Presently, Nick is focused on exploring very large-scale user interfaces, which encompass any interface larger than a person. Examples of this research include public displays, digital wine shops, information sculptures, Virtual Reality setups, and table-sized multitouch group interactions. He is a founding member of NORSC (Northumbria social computing), demonstrating his commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation in the research community.

One of Nick's current research projects revolves around the use of body movements at standing desks to encourage better user interaction and combat obesogenic environments in the workplace, reflecting his dedication to promoting healthier and more productive workspaces.

Additionally, Nick is actively involved in PhD supervision, with ongoing work cantered on reconceptualising device user interfaces for people with diabetes. He always welcomes suggestions for PhD topics related to his expertise in large-scale user interfaces.

Outside of academia, Nick's creative spirit finds expression in writing iPhone and AppleWatch apps. Furthermore, he indulges in his love for Science Fiction writing, where he shares his imaginative stories on Wattpad.

You can keep up with Nick's latest endeavours and insights by reading his articles on The Conversation, where he enthusiastically communicates his joy for all things Digital to students and the wider public.

Areas of Expertise
  1. Human computer interaction 
    1. vivacious interaction 
  2. Neurodiversity
  3. Space syntax 
  4. Architecture and Computing 
  5. Computing pedagogy
    1. Diversity in computing 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Isovist in a Grid: Benefits and Limitations, Dalton, R., Dalton, N., McElhinney, S., Mavros, P. 22 Feb 2023, In: The Journal of Urban Design
  • Methods for Neighbourhood mapping, boundary agreement, Dalton, N., Hurrell, M. 1 Feb 2023, In: Environment & Planning B
  • Motivational Factors for Participating in Citizen Science Games, Dalton, R., Wiener, J., Yesiltepe, D., Adams, A., Dalton, N., Spiers, H., Hornberger, M. 9 Feb 2023
  • Upper bound projection and Stochastic isovists: a solution to the comparison of Visibility Graph Analysis systems, Dalton, N., Dalton, R., McElhinney, S., Mavros, P. 8 Apr 2023, In: The Journal of Urban Design
  • Wheel time interaction: A demonstration of PedalMouse for healthy interaction: Wheel time interaction, a demonstration of PedalMouse: Towards less sedentary interaction with computers, Dalton, N., Dow, A. 19 Apr 2023, CHI EA '23, New York, US, ACM
  • 从等视域波动来识别可理解性的跳跃—通过点连接绘制潜在的惊喜时刻位置, McElhinney, S., Dalton, R., Dalton, N., Mavros, P. 8 Apr 2023, In: The Journal of Urban Design
  • Detection of Intelligibility leaps using Isovist-waves; joining the dots to map potential ‘aha moment’ locations, McElhinney, S., Dalton, R., Dalton, N., Mavros, P. 20 Jun 2022, Proceedings 13th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2022, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)
  • Detection of Intelligibility Leaps with Isovist-Waves, a Method To Identify ‘Aha Moment’ Locations:: joining the dots to map the ‘aha moment’, McElhinney, S., Dalton, R., Dalton, N., Mavros, P. 20 Jun 2022, Proceedings of the 13th Space Syntax Symposium
  • Isovist in a Grid Benefits and limitations, Dalton, R., Dalton, N., Elhinney, S., Mavros, P. 20 Jun 2022, Proceedings 13th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2022, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)
  • Isovists in a Grid: Benefits and limitations, Dalton, R., Dalton, N., McElhinney, S., Mavros, P. 20 Jun 2022, Proceedings of the 13th Space Syntax Symposium

  • Simran Chopra Designing for Participatory Visioning: HCI for Reconciling Sustainability Visions with Everyday Practice in Grassroots Communities Start Date: 06/05/2023 End Date: 01/10/2023
  • Joe Cowlyn Spatial Embodied Augmented Reality: Design of AR for Spatial Productivity Applications Start Date: 01/10/2017 End Date: 23/12/2022
  • Halil Agin A Visual Analytics Approach: Brushing in Parameter Space of a Data-set’s Statistical Model for Extracting Knowledge Start Date: 07/06/2017 End Date: 16/09/2019

  • Engineering PhD June 30 2010
  • Fellow Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) 2003
  • Member British Computer Society (BCS) 2003
  • Member Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 2003
  • Member Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) 2002


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